23 people were arrested for you. Take the VA pipeline pledge

Here’s the truth: The fossil fuel industry wants to put us all in handcuffs. They want to lock us up inside a future of climate chaos by continuing to dump massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the sky.

Hurricane Matthew spawned great flooding in Norfolk, creating “automobile graveyards” and stranded neighborhoods. Such storms will become more frequent in a warming world, but the fossil fuel industry doesn’t care. Companies like Dominion Power and ExxonMobil want to double down with more fracked gas and more dirty oil. This will imprison us in a world of severe climate violence.

So it’s ironic that civil disobedience can help free us from this future. It was true during the civil rights movement and it’s true now.

In 2011, a total of 1,253 people got arrested at the White House to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. And it worked! Today, indigenous Sioux leaders in North Dakota are doing the same – peacefully giving up their momentary freedom in order to keep future generations free from the contaminated water and climate disruption that would come from a fracked-oil pipeline.

Now this movement and these tactics have arrived in Virginia. It’s time for us to say no – seriously no – to two massive fracked-gas pipelines that fossil fuel companies want to plow through the state.

Won’t you sign the “Pipeline Pledge of Resistance” against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines? Join citizens across Virginia in taking a historic stand against fracked gas and for our clean water, property rights, and climate at nonewpipelines.org.

You’ll be in good company. In early October, twenty three people – ranging in age from 20 to 83 – were peacefully arrested outside Governor Terry McAuliffe’s house in Richmond. These citizens were demanding clean water, climate justice, and an end to the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. Now, these same 23 people are asking you to join them in pledging to take a firm stance against the pipelines.

The official government review process for these two pipelines is now underway. The process so far is very troubling. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released a comically inadequate draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline in September. A similarly insufficient EIS could be coming on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as early as December. And Gov. McAuliffe’s administration – despite having the clear power to stop these pipelines under the Clean Water Act – is making it clear they’re ready to give rubber-stamp approval no matter how many farms are destroyed and drinking wells contaminated.

Unless we turn up the pressure, these pipelines could begin construction within the next 12 months.

Won’t you sign the “Pipeline Pledge of Resistance” against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines? If you’re not able to risk arrest, you can pledge your support to those who are able to do so.

No one wants to have to get arrested just to keep their water safe and their air clean. But many times in American history, elected leaders and government officials just don’t listen to the pleas of voters.

So, like the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, it’s up to citizens like you and me to make our voices heard. Again, history has shown that mass civil disobedience has repeatedly played a key role in moments of great moral import like this. Let’s pledge ourselves fully to this cause – proudly, peacefully, insistently.

I hope you’ll sign the pipeline pledge of resistance – at http://nonewpipelines.org – and share it with everyone you know.


Mike Tidwell